Approaches towards town centres in various eras are highly revealing of the contemporary way of thinking and the pervasive ideas about the past and the future. During the state socialist era, the standpoint was highly unstable, constantly changing according to major shifts in economic and social politics throughout the 45-year life of the regime. These changes left their marks on urban design as well, a state especially conspicuous in medium-sized towns and their centres. This paper deals with these processes in town centres, as well as their underlying causes and their impact on urban policies, urban design and architecture. While the details of processes and examples focus on Hungary, they have strong connections to other Central-Eastern European countries as well, due to the many presumable similarities.
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